Sermon Illustrations


Stanley Praimnath, Vice President for Fuji Bank, was in his office in the South Tower at the World Trade Center when his phone rang. "Are you watching the news?' asked a woman in their Chicago office. "Are you alright?" "I'm fine" he said wondering why she had called. Just then he turned to gaze out the window at the Statue of Liberty, as had been his routine. The surreal sight of a low-flying commercial jet, heading straight for his tower, disrupted his view.

He dropped the phone in mid-sentence and dove to the floor. Curling under his desk he began praying to God, "Lord, help me," he prayed desperately as the aircraft smashed into the tower. The smell of jet fuel was in the air. Equipment was scattered all around with rubble covering the floor and dust in the air. He began clawing his way out. "Lord, I have to go home to my family," he wheezed. "I have to see my daughters."

Just then he saw a light. "I am here to help you." He thought, "This is my guardian angel! The Lord sent somebody to help me!" Praimnath's guardian angel was Brian Clark, a Christian who was an executive three floors below. The two miraculously climbed out of the rubble to safety.

Praimnath stated, "My Lord has some unfinished tasks for me." "I took the tattered clothes I was wearing that day, put them in a box, and wrote DELIVERANCE all over it. I told my wife, 'if I ever get spiritually cold, I want you to bring this box to me, open it up, and show me what the Lord brought me from."

Stanley used the bombing as a positive motivation to face the past.

(Source: James Botts, from a sermon by Leland Patrick, "Trading Sorrow for Singing" 7/14/08,

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